Sherilyn Rittgers suffered from chronic and severe layrngopharyngeal reflux for three years. It all began when she was pregnant.
Two years after she gave birth, she continued to have the pain behind her sternum and found herself hoarse all the time. She struggled to talk and sing and felt discouraged because she is a singer and loves to sing. She felt like she couldn't do something that brought her great joy.
- Also called GERD, or reflux espohagitis, is a feeling of burning, warmth, heat, or pain that often starts in the upper abdomen just beneath the lower breastbone.
- Occurs when food and stomach juices back up (reflux) into the esophagus, which is the tube that leads from the throat to the stomach.
- Can occur with other symptoms, such as hoarseness, a feeling that food is stuck in your throat, tightness in your throat, a hoarse voice, wheezing, asthma, dental problems, or bad breath.
An ENT specialist finally diagnosed Sherilyn with laryngopharyngeal reflux and treated her with Aciphex. He told her to elevate the head of her bed six inches, avoid caffeine, and not to eat two to three hours before going to bed. She took the Aciphex and followed all the instructions, but her problem continued to worsen.
The ENT then sent her to a gastroenterologist, who did an endoscopy that revealed esophagitis. He said the Aciphex was not working and he prescribed Protonix two times a day. She took this medicine and followed all of his advice, but her condition still continued to worsen. Her reflux got so bad that she developed vocal cord nodules.
Proton Pump Inhibitors May Have Made Her Worse
By this time she was completely unable to sing and struggled to read books to her little girl. She was put on vocal rest and was instructed by her speech pathologist to not talk for two weeks. The pathologist also suggested that the medications she had been on were not working, and recommended she try Nexium. So, she was put on Nexium twice a day.
Although her condition improved some, the ENT said that the scope pictures taken of her throat and vocal cords were showing signs of chronic reflux. The ENT suggested she go back to the gastroenterologist. She went back to the gastroenterologist, and he said she really needed to have surgery (a laparoscopic Nissen).
Sherilyn asked if he could help her take a more natural approach to treatment. He told her that he was unable to do this. She told him that she would like to be referred to someone who would treat her with dietary changes. He told her that there was no evidence to support that diet changes could help with severe reflux. She was very discouraged and felt no peace about having the surgery that was recommended to her.
Relief at Last by Using Natural Methods!
At this time she started looking at Mercola.com and read my book, "Total Health Program." She decided that she wanted to go to the Optimal Wellness Center for treatment in order to avoid surgery.
So, she traveled to Schaumberg, Illinois, just outside of Chicago, from Des Moines, Iowa. She was impressed with the kindness and compassion of the staff. She actually met me in the hallway and I told her that reflux is one of the easiest things to treat. I assured her that she would be feeling better in the next month if she followed my recommendations.
Our staff determined that Sherilyn actually had too little stomach acid and that's why her condition was worsening when she took the medication that suppressed her stomach acid.
She went home and immediately implemented the changes that were suggested to her. She was a protein nutritional type so she cut out all grains and sugars from her diet and she noticed immediate improvement in her reflux symptoms. Within one month she was thrilled to tell her family and friends that her symptoms were nearly absent. It has now been seven months since she went to the Optimal Wellness Center. She is singing without difficulty and can read books to her little girl without hurting her voice. She has almost forgotten what it felt like to have severe pain behind her sternum.